So ok, show went up, got a great review in the Willamette Weekly, contacted a gallerist to come check it out and the sum total of ZERO happened. Noone who saw the work contacted me, gallerist never replied, review was read and a few friends said Nice Job! but otherwise it was like spitting into the ocean.
Pretty standard, that, I’m told.
So it gets me to pondering my work and direction. One thing I’ve been considering of late is content, as in ‘Would I hang that in my apt?’ Also as in ‘If I wouldn’t, and I make it, why should I expect someone else to?’ Which leads to ‘If they’re not going to hang it, chances are they’re also not going to buy it.’
Pretty standard, that, the damn formula: No hang = No buy. And what’s the artist’s goal? To sell your $%@& work in order to keep going. It’s been the constant formula for thousands of years. And now I’m staring at it, kicking the tires, and it feels right.
So ok again, let’s look at what I’ve produced: A) A triptych of tritychs about nuclear war. Z) A ton of autobiographical text pieces. You’ll either hang my point of view about what happens once the first bomb drops or you’ll read about something stupid I did in college. Hardly the oomph to make you want to rip out your checkbook and start scribbling, eh? On the other hand, subject matter aside, I have over the past few diligent years, and they have been diligent, learned something of a craft. I have mastered the stencil technique, the most recent pieces are all basically perfect, so that’s a nice thing. And in coming to understand one’s craft one can theoretically look more critically at one’s work and understand it better in the moment. Thus, this moment.
I think I’m done with stories for 2013. I don’t see the point, and I’m bored to death with the current full-panel stencil technique. I can do it, but to what end? What’s getting my attention lately are the multi-layered pieces (Richter) which remind me of Glenn Ligon, and the full-color bits I’m working on now in shop, like What That Hat below. There’s a verbal/visual language to these new pieces that work in an entirely different fashion than straight text stories, and even far different from Le Morte de Gaia where I covered over the work to the point of obliteration. A lot of the new work if not all of it will be covered over, but in the service of something abstract, meant to come out later, nevermind the very very very small quantities of words, singular phrases and size of text.
In short, I’ve begun to create new work with a new emphasis, a new language for me, and it’s actually pretty exciting. The old process didn’t involve artistic creativity so much as it involved the learning of craft. The new bits are interesting in that I don’t go into the shop with text in mind, I just pull out a panel and start working. It’s all freedom, as Jimi said, before he proved it.
In any event, adios to one and hello to another. In any event again, spitting into the ocean. Even this blog is a speck in the coldest speck of outer space. ZERO response to 2 years of work. It’s something to consider, it really is.